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Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol

Pores, you’re not growing on me. Wrinkles, stand down. A few drops of this serum morning and night shrinks enlarged pores and smooths skin. You win.
Item #: 335
  • Blackheads, Enlarged Pores
  • Combination, Oily Skin
  • Protects your skin from environmental damage
  • Silky-smooth texture makes a great foundation primer
  • Great for use around eyes

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Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol

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Customer Ratings:

78 out of 100
(Based on 275 Reviews)
Page of 11 Next »
  1. Kelsey M.
    Reviewed on Monday, May 25, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    NOT Great for Use Around Eyes
    • This stuff works magic on most of my face, but even though I am super careful not to get it in my eyes, every time I try to use it on my burgeoning crow's feet and under eye squint lines, I seriously regret it. It inevitably gets IN my eyes and burns really badly. I'm pretty sure it's this product, which surprised me since it says it is "great" for the eye area. Still, the texture is great and I think my face looks a lot brighter when I use this stuff.

  2. John C
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 19, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    super effective for combo and oily
    • I have tried both resist serums and this skin balancing serum and this is the only one I can use during the day. Packed with beneficial ingredients and yet has a powder-like finish; similar type of finish as skin balancing ultra sheer spf moisturizer. Using this serum allows me to layer all kinds of products underneath like toner, BHA exfoliant, and c-15 super booster without having sticky shiny skin. I still use the dark blue resist serum at night because can't beat those ingredients.

  3. Jessica B.
    Reviewed on Monday, May 11, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Oily or Combo Skin must use
    • This product has brought back my dewiness, helped control oil and cleared congestion on my nose. I do think this product should be used in combination with the other Skin Balancing products. Saw results in a day, so glad I tried this product, just ordered my second bottle so I don't run out. If you struggle with oiliness, you must try this product.

  4. Victoria
    Reviewed on Monday, May 11, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Great texture, but causes breakouts
    • I really enjoyed the feel of this serum. It absorbs quickly and went on weightlessly under my moisturizer and makeup. Unfortunately I've given this product a few tries and each time it caused bad breakouts that cleared up once I stopped using it. I wasn't able to use it long enough to see any results from the antioxidants/retinol so I can't comment on its effectiveness.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, May 11, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  5. Melinda, J
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 07, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    No difference before and after
    • This is the one Paula's Choice product that did not make a noticeable difference in my skin. I bought this mostly to use as a makeup primer, since most of the Beautypedia reviews said that a silicone-based antioxidant serum was better than a traditional primer. This felt slick under my foundation and never really "set". I looked shiny after using it which, as a person with combination/oily skin, was definitely not what I wanted. After finishing the tube, I saw no difference in my pore size.

  6. kelly t.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best one for me!
    • I got a sample of this and I'm hooked. The texture is so silky and my skin looks amazing with it. I can use it under my Resist Foundation with no greasy after effects. I have very oily to dry flakey skin. This calms redness and uneveness. It's amazing stuff. I have used everything Paula has in serums including the Vitamin C. This works better than all of them for me.

  7. NICOLE
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE it!
    • I added this to my existing PC skincare routine and I absolutely love it! I'm in my late 20s, and my interest is anti-acne & wrinkle prevention and adding this serum has absolutely made my skin glow. Even my mom and my boyfriend both said my skin looks great lately as well! The texture is slightly odd and off-putting at first, but it feels so soft on my skin that I have no problem with it. My skin seems to be less oily as well. I highly recommend it!

  8. JULIE K.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Please Assure Me...
    • I truly believe in this product and that I am seeing good results from using it. However, I have noticed, having gone through nearly two tubes of this now, that the color and texture of this product changes as one reaches the near-end of the tube. The color changes from a peachy/orangey color to no color and the texture goes from a more oily (in a good way)- liquidy form to a more gelatinous form. PLEASE ASSURE ME that this is normal/does not affect the product's effectiveness! Else 1 star!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    Hello! A gradual loss of color is something that can happen with this serum, resulting from a tiny amount of air being pulled back into the tube. You can eliminate this by being sure to keep the tube depressed before recapping. This stops air from going in, though again, the tiny amount that could get in does not have a significant effect on the antioxidants. We have confirmed this with fairly intense stability testing.

    —Admin
  9. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Just give it a chance
    • I'm in my mid 20s, balancing breakouts and trying to protect my skin from the effects of harsh winters and years of acne products. I use the Clear System and decided to give the serum with retinol a try. At first, I was skeptical about the texture- it sort of separates between your fingers. After using this product for 6 weeks, I know this will be a mainstay. Once you rub the serum on your face, you can tell that the texture is silky- it just melts in. Breakouts reduced and fine lines and GONE!

  10. Mariana G.
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 21, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I want a pool filled up with this!
    • Yes, a pool full of this serum is what will make me happy forever! The texture in your fingers and then in your face is worth every penny!

  11. Feriba K.
    Reviewed on Friday, February 20, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Fast Result
    • This is a very good serum especially for normal skin types. I don't think oily skins get benefit of controlling oil. I mix it with Resist C15 Super Booster in the mornings. No need to wear foundation any more.

  12. whitney
    Reviewed on Monday, February 16, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Needs A LOT of improvement
    • I really wanted to like this product because of all the great ingredients but after using it for 3 weeks, and all the breakouts, and awkward applications because of the slippery texture, I just have to give it up. I stopped using it and no more breakouts. I'm not sure what caused the breakouts but I have to guess it's the related to the terrible texture and all the silicone. I love Paula's choice but this is a real dud.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  13. Katie C.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 09, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    resist ultra-light serum > this one
    • - off-putting scent that i think vanishes once you put on skin (but nevertheless) - odd consistency, as one reviewer mentioned, that goes on matte much prefer the resist ultra-light serum for non-winter months (my skin's normal -> oily then).

  14. Marilyn W.
    Reviewed on Thursday, February 05, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Flakey skin
    • I love the consistency of the serum but when I used it around my eyes I developed red, puffy, and flakey skin on my eyelids and under my eyes. Still looking for a good eye cream that can help with fine lines and wrinkles.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, February 05, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  15. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Breakouts and odd consistency
    • I love the ultra-light serum, and wanted to try this as it was specified for combination skin. Unfortunately, it really broke me out and left an odd film on my skin, so it was difficult to apply makeup. I did however return it and got my absolute favorite, which is the ultra-light serum.

  16. Kirsten H.
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 01, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Unfortunately didn't work for me
    • I wanted this to work. I have SO many paulas choice products and this is the first and only that i have not liked. I wanted it to help with my past acne marks and also wanted some great antioxidants in my skin care routine. Unfortunately, this product made me break out very badly. I am not sure why. But i know it was this, because i only introduce one new thing at a time. This also didn't seem to help with my past acne marks. Bad buy for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 02, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  17. Maria
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 31, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Help please
    • I'm ordering a sample of this & the Resist Retinol serum. Can you tell me what's the difference between these two? Currently, I'm using Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum (per Beautypedia) in my morning routine but looking for another serum to add in my night routine & heard that Retinol is very good that's why I want one of my serums to have it. Thanks in advance!!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 02, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for your question! The Skin Balancing serum is a very lightweight formula specially designed for oily or combination skin, while the Resist serum is a slightly thicker formula designed to work for all skin types. We hope this information is helpful!

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  18. Betsy B
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 31, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I love this stuff, even the texture of it
    • My skin is dramatically smoother, softer, and this product doesn't promote acne or blackheads. I love it. Am ordering more. I like the jelly texture, its neat. Not hard to apply and I just shake the little tube up to get the stuff to distribute. Excellent product!!!

  19. caroline
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 25, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Super Silky
    • i purchased this product in spite of some of the negative reviews some users wrote about this product. After reading the back of this tube, I realized it said to shake very well before each use. So I did just that. What I experienced was a very silky, super absorbent and weightless product that felt amazing. I have acne prone skin and this product was perfect. Also it acts as an amazing primer before makeup. I will purchase this product again and will make it part of my daily regimen.

  20. Jami V.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 22, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Too much silicone
    • I've liked the other PC products I've tried so far, but this one to me fell really short. I don't see how this can be labeled a serum as it doesn't have what we have all come to expect from a serums texture, instead it's loaded with silicone. If you look at the first few ingredients they are all silicone slip agents which is why it has that silicone foundation primer feel to it. I don't see how so much silicone slip adds to the effectiveness of this product. I think it takes away from it.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, January 23, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  21. Cristina C.
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 04, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Love the ingredients, wish the texture was different
    • The ingredients deserve 5 stars, the texture gets 2 in my book. It comes out in chunks & it feels like plastic on my skin. My first tube got separated on the inside into 2 different substances despite shaking it well. Overall, my skin looks good, but I can't tell if it's the serum or the other PC products I use. I didn't see a drastic change from this serum alone, so it's not a must for me. Switching to the Resist UltraLight Serum despite lacking retinol because it glides on the skin like a dream

  22. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Monday, December 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I'm surprised how much I like it!
    • Wanting a retinol product, I immediately went straight for the "big gun", purchasing the Clinical 1%. It was WAY too strong for me! I was so disappointed. In my mind I dismissed this Skin Balancing Serum, assuming the low concentration would be ineffective. I recently tried the free trial size and was really surprise how quickly I saw benefit! Smoother, clear skin with a less oily appearance. I bought the tube. Sometimes less is more...

  23. Barbara J.
    Reviewed on Sunday, December 21, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love the texture
    • I purchased a sample of this as I wasn't sure if I'd like it from the reviews. Before I finished the sample I was on the website ordering the full size. I agree that it looks odd and jelly like when you squeeze it on your finger and I find its best to shake the tube before dispensing. I love how it absorbs into my skin and feels so smooth. I had slight irritation around one eye that lasted one day and I'm sure was due to using my sample of the 1% retinal at night and this in a.m.

  24. Angela
    Reviewed on Friday, December 19, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best makeup primer
    • I've thrown away all my other primers. This is skincare + primer all in one fantastic product. If you like silicone primers that make your skin silky-smooth and ready for foundation to glide on, just pat on this serum and save the extra step. I was a bit puzzled with the texture in the beginning, too, as it seemed to just disappear into my skin. But run your fingers over your skin after smoothing on a thin layer and you'll feel the silky difference.

  25. k c.
    Reviewed on Monday, December 15, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Skin Balancing super
    • Fantastic!

Page of 11 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol is a brilliant serum for all degrees of oily skin. Substantial, well-researched antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients and potent anti-irritants are delivered in a silky base that feels weightless on skin. Once applied, this product forms a breathable barrier which not only protects the skin but works to nourish and repair it. It also significantly reduces irritation and inflammation from environmental exposure, allowing skin to repair itself naturally. Those with oily skin will love the special absorbent ingredients that leave a smooth matte finish, plus ingredients that normalize how skin behaves. No need for a separate foundation primer, as this provides all the benefits of a primer plus anti-aging and mattifying ingredients!

This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.

Who is this product for?
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is formulated for normal to oily/combination skin. It is excellent as a foundation primer for oily skin. The formula is suitable for breakout-prone skin and complements a Paula's Choice Clear anti-acne routine.

Sources to support the claims made for Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

Duodecim, Volume 128, Issue 22, 2012, pages 2,327–2,335; and Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, June 2011, pages 614–620; Archives of Dermatological Research, March 2010, pages 71–83; Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprolology, January-February 2010, pages 20-26; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, September 2009, pages 299–304; Skin Research and Technology, August 2009, pages 338–345; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2009, pages 1,057–1,065; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; General Physiology and Biophysics, June 2007, pages 97-103;Archives of Dermatology, May 2007, pages 606-612; Cosmetic Dermatology, supplement, Revisiting Retinol, January 2005, pages 1-20; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 799-804; International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, July-September 2005, pages 497-502; Experimental Dermatology, September 2005, pages 684-691; International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, July 2005, pages 116-119; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, January-February 2005, pages 20-26; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, April 2005, pages 1156-1162; Mechanisms of Ageing Development, July 2004, pages 465-473; and Journal of Dermatology, November 2001, pages 595-598; European Journal of Medical Research, September 2001, pages 391–398; Journal of Controlled Release, January 2000, pages 7–17 Journal of Investigative Dermatology, September 1997, pages 301–305.

Key Ingredients: Chamomilla recutita flower extract, vitamin E, caprylic/capric triglyceride, vitamin C, grape seed extract, antioxidant, skin-repairing ingredients, Rubus idaeus, astaxanthin extract, retinol, cranberry seed extract, bisabolol, cell-communicating ingredients, green tea, chamomile, Glycine soja oil, vitamin A, Vitis vinifera

Product Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Isododecane (matte finish solvent), Cyclohexasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (silicone suspending agent), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (non-aqueous thickener), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A/antioxidant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (thickener), Retinol (antioxidant/cell-communicating ingredient), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Haematococcus Pluvialis (Astaxanthin) Extract (antioxidant pigment), Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidants/anti-irritants), Salix Alba (Willow) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo) Leaf Extract, Calluna Vulgaris (Heather) Flower Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Betula Alba (White Birch) Bark Extract (antioxidants), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (antioxidant plant oil), Silica (absorbent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

DIRECTIONS: Apply after cleansing, toning and exfoliating. Smooth a few drops onto face, neck and eye area before moisturizing. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater. May be alternated with a Paula’s Choice serum that does not contain retinol.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

Which Paula’s Choice serum should I use?

All skin types can use any of our serum and each provides multiple anti-aging benefits, but there are some formulary distinctions that make certain Paula’s Choice serums preferred for specific skin types. Here’s how they break down:

  • Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum can be used by all skin types, including sensitive skin. The Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Serum contains the highest amount of retinol.
  • Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is best for normal to very dry skin because it contains plant oils.
  • Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is best for normal to oily or combination or breakout-prone skin because it has the lightest texture and weightless finish.
  • Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is one of two Paula’s Choice serums that does not contain retinol. It’s the natural choice for anyone whose skin cannot tolerate retinol.
  • Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum has the lightest texture of all the Resist serums and is our only water-based (rather than silicone-based) serum. It does not contain retinol, so is recommended for those whose skin cannot tolerate this ingredient (or it may be used with one of our retinol serums).

How does the Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum differ from the other retinol products Paula’s Choice offers?

The silky, weightless Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is best for combination to oily skin types. It contains several antioxidants (vitamins C & E, green tea, willow leaf, grape seed, and more) as well as retinol.

The percentage of retinol needed for efficacy is generally between 0.01% and 1%, which is quite a range, but further proof of just how powerful retinol is! For more on percentages of retinol in Paula’s Choice products, see our article Which Strength of Retinol Do I Need?

All of these products may be used with Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum or on their own, as each treats skin to a beneficial range of anti-aging ingredients.

Is the texture of Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate similar to Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel?

No. Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel is a silicone-in-water emulsion and has a light, water-based gel texture while the Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is a non-aqueous serum that has a completely different feel. They're designed to work beautifully together, or you may use the Skin Balancing serum with any of our other moisturizers.

Does Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum decrease the appearance of pores?

The silicone polymers in this product float over skin and minimally "fill in" pores, creating a smoother surface. The effect (as with all such products) is temporary and how long it lasts depends on your pore size and skin's oil output, as well as other products used at the same time. Overall, this product is not capable of reducing pore size, but it's conceivable this effect will be noticed and can be prolonged by pairing it with a matte finish foundation and powder.You can reduce enlarged pores by not using heavy, greasy products and using a well formulated BHA exfoliant along with other key ingredients found in our Skin Balancing line.

I use a prescription product with tretinoin (i.e. Retina-A, Renova, Tazorac). Since Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum contain retinol, is it OK to combine them?

We are not aware of any contraindications surrounding the use of tretinoin and retinol and believe this combination is beneficial to skin. Because this question concerns a prescription drug, we recommend consulting your physician and following his or her advice. Alternately, you can apply the serum in the morning and the prescription retinoid product at night.

At what point after my laser and/or peel procedure can I begin using my serum again?

First, we urge you to follow the post-procedure instructions your doctor or nurse provided. If nothing was mentioned about when to resume use of a serum, please contact the doctor's office where you had the procedure done. Otherwise, our general advice is to begin using your serum again as soon as possible. All of our serums contain skin-repairing, anti-inflammatory, and replenishing ingredients that calm reddened skin and help enhance the healing process. Make sure you're also protecting your "new" skin every day with a product rated SPF 15 or greater.

Is Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum suitable for those with rosacea?

Yes. Research has shown that retinol can reduce inflammation that leads to symptoms of rosacea. The other antioxidants and soothing agents in this serum will help calm redness and soothe skin as they deliver anti-aging benefits.

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